PGA Tour

Johnson handed major challenge at WGC

2017-03-22 11:25
Dustin Johnson (Getty Images)

Miami - World No 1 Dustin Johnson has the hottest hand in golf and will need to keep that form heading into Wednesday's WGC-Dell Match Play tournament after being grouped with a trio of major champions.

Johnson, who has won on his last two starts, has been placed in a group with PGA Championship title holder Jimmy Walker, twice major winner Martin Kaymer and former US Open champion Webb Simpson.

They represent one of 16 four-player groups that will play round-robin matches from Wednesday through Friday at the Austin Country Club with the winners of each group advancing to a single-elimination bracket at the weekend.

"I've got a lot of confidence in the game," Johnson. "I feel like I'm controlling my ball very well and I feel I’m starting to drive a little straighter."

Defending champion Jason Day and Marc Leishman, fresh off a victory at Bay Hill, are the two Australians in the event and they have been grouped with England's Lee Westwood and American Pat Perez.

The winner of their group will face one of Phil Mickelson, JB Holmes, Daniel Berger or South Korean Kim Si-woo.

"When it comes time to play match play you've just got to go out and try and beat them," said world No 3 Day. "You're not really friends for 18 holes and then when you get off the course you're back to being mates."

Rory McIlroy, who lost to Day in last year's semi-final but replaced the Australian as world No 2 this week, has been impressive since returning from a rib injury, finishing in a tie for seventh and share of fourth in his last two tournaments.

The 27-year-old Northern Irishman is grouped with Argentine Emiliano Grillo, American Gary Woodland and Dane Soren Kjeldsen.

Japan's Hideki Matsuyama has one of the most difficult draws as he will face South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen, who is 13-3 in this event over the last three years, veteran American Jim Furyk and Britain's Ross Fisher, who tied for third at the WGC-Mexico.

Should Matsuyama advance from the group stage, he could face twice US Masters winner Bubba Watson in the round of 16, twice major winner and former world No 1 Jordan Spieth in the quarter-finals and Johnson in the semi-finals.

With only two weeks to go until the Masters, only four of the world's top 50 golfers have opted to skip this event to prioritise their preparations for the year's first major.

Read more on:    dustin johnson  |  golf

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Which is your favourite event on the golfing calendar?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.